Newark Public Schools Launches the Next Phase of B4K Initiative


Microchip Robotics for Prekindergarten Students

NEWARK, New Jersey— The Office of Early Childhood has launched its second installment, Microchip Robotics for Pre-K, of the Before Kindergarten (B4K) Initiative which provides innovative experiences for our prekindergarten students beyond the school day. Data Science and Information Technology High School and Mount Vernon Elementary School will serve as the Microchip Robotics program for preschoolers. The high school students who participate in the Robotics and E-Sports Team have the opportunity to complete their community service hours by serving as assistants to the teacher leading the course. Guided by their high school mentors, prekindergarten students will explore where energy comes from, as well as how it is transferred from one place to another while being cost-efficient and environmentally friendly for consumers.

As outlined in the District’s ten-year strategic plan, The Next Decade: 2020-30, students from age three to grade three focus on building a strong academic foundation that includes a rich literacy experience and exposure to engaging, enriching learning experiences. “Exposing children to STEM at a young age supports their overall academic growth and helps to develop early thinking and reasoning skills, encourages independent and collaborative learning, and allows for continued curiosity,” said Superintendent Roger León. “The real-life skills children develop when learning STEM help make them better problem solvers and learners,” he added.

The program takes place on Saturdays as a pre-cursor to the elementary Robotics programs using the FIRST Robotics Discover Program. Students will have a home/school connection as the program encourages the use of materials students can use at home with their families.  The program will also allow the students to attend the Newark Board of Education Robotics Competition in January 2023 where they will see their teaching assistants compete and view other projects created throughout the district.

Board President Dawn Haynes said, “The Superintendent and the District are living up to the strategies in The Next Decade: 2020-30.  They are introducing programs that stimulate their curiosity for learning at the start of their first years of school.”

Building on the success of the Ballet and Microchip Robotics for Pre-K programs, the District looks forward to the continued implementation of the B4K Initiative throughout this school year.